Monday, September 24, 2007

A medal is a small metal object, usually engraved with insignia, that is awarded to a person for athletic, military, scientific, academic or some other kind of achievement. There also exist devotional medals, worn to indicate religious faith.

Table medals
Medals have historically been given as prizes in various types of competitive activities, especially athletics.
Traditionally, medals are made of the following metals:
These metals designate the first three Ages of Man in Greek mythology: the Golden Age, when men lived among the gods; the Silver age, where youth lasted a hundred years; and the Bronze Age, the era of heroes. (The current age is called the Iron Age.) Note that the metals are progressively more prone to corrosion.
This standard was adopted at the 1904 Summer Olympics. At the 1896 event, silver was awarded to winners and bronze to runners-up, while at 1900 other prizes were given, not medals.

Gold (or another yellow metal, e.g. brass)
Silver (or another grey metal, e.g. steel)
Bronze Competition Medals
While artist's medals may take the form of competition medals, they more typically honor a particular place, event, or person (i.e., portrait medals). The field was invented by Pisanello, who was the first to cast bronze medals like sculpture, rather than minting them like coins.

Idioms involving the term medal

British and Commonwealth orders and decorations
List of prizes, medals, and awards
Awards and decorations of the United States military
Ribbon bar
Military decoration
Category:Medallists for designers and makers of medals

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